Insight: Axonn Media- Flexibility key to Marketers’ job satisfaction but most still bound to 9-5 office jobs

Flexibility in their working life is increasingly important to marketers, but few benefit from working for companies where part-time hours or homeworking are encouraged, according to new research.1

Out of 288 marketers polled by content marketing agency Axonn Media, nearly 4 in 5 (77%) still work full-time in the office.

Its Gender in Marketing 2017 report1 reveals that women are nearly four times more likely than men to work part-time (15% vs 4%), whereas men are slightly more likely to work from home (22% vs 19%).

Flexibility is more important than ever to marketers. Since Axonn first conducted its Gender in Marketing research in July 20152, flexibility has risen one place in marketers’ rankings of the most important aspects of working life.

They rate flexibility above factors such as their teams, working environment and how long their commute takes them. It fell behind only career progression, salary and “doing something I’m good at”.

For male marketers, salary has overtaken “doing something I’m good at” since 20152, suggesting financial incentives are more important than ever for men.

In 20152, it was noticeable that all respondents who worked for agencies indicated they worked full-time, suggesting agency life is not conducive to part-time working.

It seems agencies are starting to embrace a more flexible approach, not least to ensure they attract and retain talent for whom a full-time office job is either not appealing or not possible.

In the 2017 survey1, it is revealed that just 8% of agency staff work part-time.

Doing something they are good at completes the top five most important elements of working life for marketers, according to the research.

In addition to the hard work they put in for their employers, marketers also work hard at home.

Nearly eight in ten marketers (78%) still fit in up to three hours of domestic chores such as errands, cooking and cleaning every day, with just over a fifth putting in over three hours every weekday.

As in 20152, men are more likely than women to say they do at least three hours of household jobs on top of their paid work every day (25% vs 17% of women). Of those who said they spend more than three hours a day on domestic chores, 54% are parents.

The research1 also shows that mothers working in marketing still carry a heavier burden than fathers when it comes to juggling their career with family life.

Mums are nearly three times more likely than dads to say parenthood has had a negative effect on their careers (62% vs 24%), with more than one in ten mums saying this negative effect was “significant”. No dads in our sample said the effect on their careers was significant. Dads are also over four times more likely than mums to say being a parent has had no negative effect on their career at all.

Travel, meetings and working hours were the top work commitments making parental responsibilities harder for mums and dads. They also highlighted lack of flexibility from employers in terms of work/life balance as a key contributing factor. Mothers ranked flexibility as the most important aspect of their working life.

Commenting on the findings, report author Karen Webber, marketing director at Axonn Media, said: “Flexibility is becoming increasingly important to marketers at all levels and working in all sectors.

“Our research shows there are lots of pressures on marketers to juggle the demands of their career with other responsibilities. Employers should actively encourage flexible working practices to allow for passionate marketers to successfully juggle their jobs with external pressures.”

“Those organisations that encourage part-time and remote working are in the best position to attract and retain top talent.”

“Everyone in the industry also has a responsibility to work towards gender equality in terms of equal opportunities and pay, and the combatting of stereotypes and conscious and unconscious bias which work so clearly against women in marketing.”


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